Smaller, Slimmer, and Smarter - New Silicon Sensors from STMicroelectronics
Geneva, October 12, 2005 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leading supplier of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) devices, today announced that it has expanded its portfolio of three-axis accelerometers with three new models, embedding world-class performance in ever smaller packages. From ultra-compact analog devices to ‘smart sensors’ with two digital output formats (SPI/I2C), ST’s low-power, high-resolution MEMS accelerometers address different system needs and hardware characteristics in a wide range of low-g applications, from hard-disk drive protection to motion user interfaces.
ST’s LIS3LV02DQ is the market’s most advanced 3-axis low-g accelerometer with a standard SPI/I2C digital interface. Its novel features, including adjustable bandwidth and direction detection, mark the transition towards the concept of “smart sensors.”
Adjustable bandwidth provides optimized performance for different frequencies, raising the resolution by eliminating interference from irrelevant frequency areas. In ST’s LIS3LV02DQ, the bandwidth can be flexibly changed with a software command, allowing designers to effectively combine measurements of slow and fast motions, such as tilts and vibrations, in one application.
The embedded feature of direction detection immediately signals threshold crossing along any of the three axes. This information helps quickly understand in which direction the sensor is moving before any data calculations are made. Areas of application include intuitive user interfaces in various computer and consumer applications, such as 3D mice or gaming consoles.
ST’s new analog-output LIS2L02AL/LIS2L06AL sensors are the market’s first devices in slim-and-small plastic LGA (Land Grid Array) packages. Their 5x5x1.5 mm3 dimensions meet the space constraints of the booming small-form-factor applications, including mini disc drives, mobile phones, and other portable electronic devices.
ST’s leadership in MEMS miniaturization goes hand in hand with superior performance parameters. The new accelerometers can measure both tilt and acceleration along all three (x, y, z) axes at a very low noise level and minimized power consumption, which is especially critical in battery-operated portable systems.
The LIS3L0xAL devices also offer high temperature stability and tight offset tolerances, and their robust design provides very high immunity to vibration and a shock resistance up to 10,000g.
ST’s new three-axis analog sensor is available in two acceleration ranges, the standard +/- 2g LIS3L02AL for tilt applications, and a dynamically selectable choice of +/-2g and +/-6g in the LIS3L06AL, suited for measuring both static and dynamic accelerations, such as vibrations or rollover motions.
“Shrinking dimensions, coupled with increasing performance, and embedded flexibility, open up a fascinating range of computer and consumer applications for our MEMS-based sensors,” said Hubert Geitner, Marketing and Business Development Manager at the MEMS Business Unit of ST. “ST’s silicon expertise and leadership in micro-machining technologies translate into the highest levels of sensitivity and robustness at very competitive prices. Furthermore, full ownership of the device manufacturing flow enables us to guarantee our customers long-term availability and roadmap continuity.”
Available now in production volumes, unit pricing is $4.25 for the LIS2L02AL, $4.65 for the LIS2L06AL, and $5.35 for the LIS3LV02DQ, all for quantities of 10,000 pieces.
About ST’s MEMS Portfolio
ST´s MEMS inertial sensors target a wide array of applications in computer peripherals, consumer, telecommunications, and automotive markets. ST accelerometers initiate the deployment of car alarm systems and detect excessive vibrations in electronic home appliances. ST’s MEMS devices also open up new possibilities for intuitive man-machine interaction in gaming and mobile applications, enabling users to interact with the system by simply tilting the device in the desired direction. Market analysts predict that by 2010, there will be one accelerometer in each portable hard-disk-based device (laptops, audio/video players) and every mobile phone, representing a total amount of more than 1.2 billion units. Further information is available at www.st.com/mems.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the Company’s net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com
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